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The Douglas County Adult Drug Court, a division of the District Court of Nebraska, 4th Judicial District, located in Omaha, Nebraska became the first Drug Court in the state in April 1997 and the 13th in the nation.

The Adult Drug Court team is a collaboration between various Douglas County entities. The Douglas County Attorney’s office provides an identified deputy prosecutor who oversees and approves all program candidates. The Douglas County Public Defender’s Office provides an Assistant Public Defender to support and supervise due process, and the state provides four Douglas County District Court Judges to preside over the Drug Court bench and oversee the overall process.

The Adult Drug Court serves a client population residing in the metropolitan Omaha area as well as in several smaller, surrounding communities. The Drug Court’s objective is to divert non-violent, substance-abusing felony offenders from incarceration to a judicially supervised program of substance abuse treatment, case-management activities, and educational and employment objectives. A reduction in substance abuse is intended to lead to a decrease in the commission of drug-related criminal offenses and, correspondingly, a reduction of the offender incarceration costs incurred by state and local government entities. The Drug Court’s ultimate goal is to restore each Drug Court participant to productive citizenry in the community. No individual is excluded from the Drug Court program on the basis of race; gender; ethnicity or national origin; or sexual orientation.

The Adult Drug Court’s maximum capacity is 150 participants. The target populations are individual’s that have been charged with felony offenses in the Douglas County jurisdiction. This population is required to have a verbalized drug or alcohol problem, as well as an approved substance use evaluation that states they have a moderate to severe substance use problem as well as be willing to seek recommended treatment services, and adhere to court expectations. The Drug Court’s format is referred to as post plea. A post plea format requires the defendant to plead guilty to his/her charge(s) before admission is considered.

At the present time to enter into the Adult Drug Court the process starts with the felony offender’s written application/petition and approval by the Douglas County Attorney. Candidate information that is reviewed starts with their criminal history, both inside and outside Douglas County. Current charged/case(s) circumstances are reviewed; a formal eligibility screening performed by the Drug Court Office occurs; and of course, approval by the Drug Court Judge in the signing of the Admission order. (s). All candidates are informed at their plea hearing that they are not guaranteed admission, but must first be approved for admission by the Adult Drug Court team.

For National Drug Court information & resources please click on the following link. www.nadcp.org

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